Martin: “Alright Casey, sorry for the long wait."
C: "Don’t apologize. I appreciate it."
M: “Do you come to this food line sometimes?"
C: “This is just my second time here. I’m recently homeless and I’ve only recently found out about these resources."
M: “What happened?”
C: “Combination of a divorce, a hospitalization, diagnosis of a heart condition, and economic job situation."
M: “What is your job?” C: “I’m an attorney. Graduated top of my class from USC. My undergraduate degree was from UCLA, also with honors in philosophy. I was a partner in a huge established law firm. I’ve been practicing law for twenty-four years. The legal market underwent an upheaval so that it was really shaken up, a lot of people lost their jobs. There’s a glut of lawyers on the street now and someone my age finds it very difficult to be slotted into a firm. If you were to tell me that I would find myself sleeping at a bus stop or standing in a food line I would have laughed at you, I would’ve told you you were insane. It’s so difficult to understand that most of us live from paycheck to paycheck whether we realize it or not. And if you find yourself without your spouse, without your family, you find yourself separated for even an instant and that tether, it breaks, it cuts, and with no safety net, you end up like me. The very least, the reason, when I heard what you were doing, [very emotional] I think my life is over, I’m losing hope so quickly it’s not even funny. The least I could do, I thought, was maybe be a signpost to somebody, look at me and don’t let it happen to you. I don’t know what else I have to offer in this world.”
M: “Oh man. I’m so sorry.” C: “I’m sorry”
M: “No, no, no... it's.. so many people seem numb that I photograph.” C: “They’ve given up.The longer you’re out on the street, the longer you find yourself sleeping like this and eating like this, the harder it is to come back. And there comes a point in time where you can no longer be socialized. I’ve seen it. Where no matter what you do there is no more, there is no solution to the problem. And I’m afraid for every night more that I spend on the street that I’m going further away."